Elderly persons must be treated fairly as Fiji fights COVID-19

June 15, 2021 12:22 pm

the Director of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Ashwin Raj

Older persons in our society are equal in dignity and rights and deserve to live a life free of violence, neglect, and abuse.

This message is being reiterated by the Director of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Ashwin Raj as today commemorates World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Raj says the elderly in our society are disproportionately affected not only by discrimination on the basis of their age and stigma but they also face intersectional forms of violence and discrimination.

Article continues after advertisement

He stresses that older persons are more vulnerable and at a greater risk of facing violence, discrimination and neglect during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Raj says lockdowns, physical distancing and limitations to rights and freedoms during these extra-ordinary times must not be used as an excuse to neglect and ill-treat older persons in communities.

He says that older persons must remain integrated in society and participate in national development adding that they must have access to institutions of justice, humanitarian support and enjoy subsistence rights including the right to food, water, sanitation, health and housing.

The Director says the elderly must be treated fairly regardless of their age, disability and any other prohibited grounds of discrimination and stressing that older persons must be protected against verbal, psychological, physical and sexual abuse.

Raj also highlights that the elderly must have access to accurate and timely information about COVID-19 vaccinations as well as other health and medical services available so that they can make informed decisions about their life.